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  1. #1

    Advice for next purchase...

    Alright, so I'm in an interesting situation and know I need/want to buy a few new knives in the near future. Any input, suggestions, advice, etc... would be greatly appreciated.

    Basically, the situation is this: I'm leaving my current job to pursue a career in cooking. I know this will probably get some eye-rolls, but I'm young, don't want to be working where I have been (or in the field I've been working in, for that matter), and figure it's the most risk-free time in my life I'll be able to try to make this switch.
    I'm going to be taking classes at a community college with a decent culinary program to learn and try to make some connections. Will also be looking for internships/apprenticeships/part-time jobs to start to get some real experience.

    I'm trying to decide what knives I should purchase and in what order.

    I currently have:
    240mm Sakai Yusuke gyuto
    120mm Kanemasa E-series petty
    Mac pro bread knife
    Cheap boning knife
    210mm tojiro dp gyuto

    Knives I am considering picking up in the near future:
    270 or 300 suji
    Heavier gyuto or western deba (240, probably) or a cheap, hefty cleaver
    Deba –*probably one of the cheap tojiro white steel joints.
    210 petty/suji
    Honesuki or better boning knife

    My main questions are:
    Should I stick with cheaper options for while I'm taking classes/trying to break in to an entry-level kitchen job (i.e. fujiwara FKH vs. a konosuke white steel suji)?

    What knives do y'all think I should put at the top of my to-purchase list? Should I just wait to see what I feel like I need the most once I get started and fill out my kit from there?

    Any other general advice for this ill-advised adventure I'm about to put myself through? ha

    Anyways. Sorry for such a long first post, and thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    El Pescador's Avatar
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    I don't see a carter on your list. It would be a great choice. Doesn't look like much but cuts good

  3. #3
    Those are more than satisfactory to get you through courses. Expect to get ignorant comments about them, even from instructors....it's not their fault, lol.

    You gonna work some joint in dfw? It would be cool to visit. I work at TCC, which is fort worth.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the quick response. I realized I didn't give a price range at all. For a 270 or 300 suji, I'd probably want to keep it around or under $300...so that limits things quite a bit, I know. Others would be a little less than that (adjusted for length/knife type).

    Of course, if I end up going the cheap route for the time that I'm in school and just getting started, I'm just looking for the best bang for my buck.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    Those are more than satisfactory to get you through courses. Expect to get ignorant comments about them, even from instructors....it's not their fault, lol.

    You gonna work some joint in dfw? It would be cool to visit. I work at TCC, which is fort worth.
    I'll be headed back to DFW, yeah. Classes at El Centro. I feel sort of silly going back to Texas since I've been living and working in New York the past year, but with no kitchen experience, I figure living for free at home and getting some experience is a solid plan (planning on coming back to NY or heading out to SF after that, probably).

    I'm definitely prepared for some knife criticism, ha, and am happy to use whatever comes in the kit they suggest purchasing for when I'm in class, if need be. I'll be there to learn, not show off, of course.

    So that's sort of where my indecision is coming from – should I go ahead and invest a little more and get knives I will be happy with for a while and skip the cheap/utilitarian stuff? Or is that just asking for a fellow student or future coworker to use a knife I really love as a can-opener ha?

  6. #6
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    Just don't work with Bobby Flay!
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by youkinorn View Post
    I'll be headed back to DFW, yeah. Classes at El Centro. I feel sort of silly going back to Texas since I've been living and working in New York the past year, but with no kitchen experience, I figure living for free at home and getting some experience is a solid plan (planning on coming back to NY or heading out to SF after that, probably).

    I'm definitely prepared for some knife criticism, ha, and am happy to use whatever comes in the kit they suggest purchasing for when I'm in class, if need be. I'll be there to learn, not show off, of course.

    So that's sort of where my indecision is coming from – should I go ahead and invest a little more and get knives I will be happy with for a while and skip the cheap/utilitarian stuff? Or is that just asking for a fellow student or future coworker to use a knife I really love as a can-opener ha?
    As a newer guy who had these same questions about 6 months ago...I'd say go cheaper first. I definitely thought I'd start with something more expensive, and I did, but I came to the realization that it wasn't exactly what I wanted. Selling expensive stuff means taking a bigger hit than selling cheaper stuff. Or if it's as cheap as the Fujiwara, you may never have to sell it.

    Anyways, I'd say get something cheap and play around. Modify it to see what you like, etc. etc...Again, this is coming from someone who bought a Shigefusa gyuto as his first gyuto, but I might do it a little differently if I could start over again.

  8. #8
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    You need a 210 mm suji/petty. Rottman made one out of a broken 270 mm Niolox blade just for kicks and it is my second most used knife after my 240+ mm gyuto.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by heirkb View Post
    As a newer guy who had these same questions about 6 months ago...I'd say go cheaper first. I definitely thought I'd start with something more expensive, and I did, but I came to the realization that it wasn't exactly what I wanted. Selling expensive stuff means taking a bigger hit than selling cheaper stuff. Or if it's as cheap as the Fujiwara, you may never have to sell it.

    Anyways, I'd say get something cheap and play around. Modify it to see what you like, etc. etc...Again, this is coming from someone who bought a Shigefusa gyuto as his first gyuto, but I might do it a little differently if I could start over again.
    Good points. Hadn't really thought about resale value.

    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    You need a 210 mm suji/petty. Rottman made one out of a broken 270 mm Niolox blade just for kicks and it is my second most used knife after my 240+ mm gyuto.
    Unfortunately, this is exactly what I want to hear ha. It seems like a very fun knife/size, but figured it shouldn't necessarily be a priority for me. I've read that people like them for trimming meat and as line knives...what else do you do with yours?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by youkinorn View Post
    ...Unfortunately, this is exactly what I want to hear ha. It seems like a very fun knife/size, but figured it shouldn't necessarily be a priority for me. I've read that people like them for trimming meat and as line knives...what else do you do with yours?
    I use mine for those purposes, small mincing-type jobs, as well as all of my in-hand work like peeling, citrus supremes, etc... I hardly use anything shorter or smaller.

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